July 18, 2012 1 Comment
by Quirino Sugon Jr.
Last 28-30 June 2012, a seminar entitled “Linking European and Asian Academic Networks: Experiences in Climate Change and Disaster Research and Education” was held in Ateneo de Manila University’s Escaler Hall. This seminar is within the framework of the Erasmus Mundus’s LEAN-CC, a project funded by the European Commission. Outside the seminar venue were several posters on climate change done by students from Ateneo de Manila University and from other institutions. The winning posters received SM gift certificates: Php 5,000 for the first place, Php 3,000 for the second place, and Php 1,000 for the third place. Below is an interview with the LEAN-CC poster coordinator, Abigail Favis, followed by a list of posters and their abstracts courtesy of Dr. Kendra Gotangco. Ms. Favis and Dr. Gotangco are faculty members of the Department of Environmental Science of Ateneo de Manila University.
A. INTERVIEW WITH MS. ABIGAIL FAVIS
1. How did Ateneo became involved in LEAN-CC?
I know that Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ was approached by LEAN-CC partners of Erasmus Mundus program. Fr. Jett then requested Manila Observatory to be involved in the activity. This task was assigned to Ms. Deanna Marie Olaguer, who was concurrently, the Program Head of Klima and Project Development. When Dr. Kendra Gotangco joined the Manila Observatory, she became the Program Head of Klima, and through this became involved with LEAN-CC. So Manila Observatory through Dr. Kendra Gotangco and Ms. Didi Olaguer worked with the Ateneo and the Office of International Relations to organize the conference.
2. What is the objective of LEAN-CC?
It is about informing local students of educational opportunities in Europe especially with the different universities that are under the Erasmus Mundus. The course programs available this year focus on climate change as an issue that will bring us together, the issue that we all share, whether European, Asian, or African.
3. What is your role in this conference?
I was involved in the poster exhibit and in the Environmental Science Society. We sent out letters of invitation promoting the conference. We received the abstracts and distributed them to the reviewers. We informed the participants whose poster got accepted for the exhibit. We assist the judges, collate the scores, and prepare the awarding ceremony. We announced the winners, took down their posters, and gave it back to them. All these are just a tiny part of the conference.
4. Is there a repeat next year?
I would not know. Kendra may know. I did not even know there is something like this. I think it was a nice conference, very well attended. We had the students who went through JTAA in Erasmus Mundus to give their experience–that was fun. I think the students enjoyed it. LEAN-CC was a great opportunity for Philippines and our partners in Europe for doing something in terms of climate change education.
5. Any parting words?
Climate change unites us all. I think it is something we have in common, though we come from different background situations, countries, and continents. The discussions brought us closer to strengthen ties and hopefully help our students become global citizens if they decide to pursue graduate studies. It would be an advantage to give them that opportunity.
B. LIST OF POSTER PRESENTATIONS
1. Faye T. Cruz, Julie Mae B. Dado, Gemma T. Narisma, Modeling local climate extremes in selected regions in the Philippines (2nd Place)
2. Narido, Shaira Jehsarine C., Barez Bryan Mondy M., Vallar, Edgar A., Morris, Vernon, A., Peralta, Teresita, V., Galvez, Maria Cecilia D., Aerosol Characterization using SEM-EDX for Climate Change Modeling
3. Nicole Bautista, Monica Castro, Denise Chua, Kaira Monique Osmena, Manuel Karlo Parungo, Ulysses Joseph Yap, John Wong, Helen Sigua, Issa Reyes-Lao, Poster 3. A Case-Control Study of Factors Associated with Mortality during Tropical Storm Ketsana
4. Oscar Torres, Edgar Vallar, Esperanza Cabrera, Clarisse Yeung, Jaran Jainhuknan, and Amornmart Jarantrungtawee, Climate change disease mitigation through characterization of airborne bacteria
5. Gabriel Ignacio Alejo, Katrina Isabelle Dela Cruz, Ma. Presentacion Estrada, Julienne Marie Ramos, Janelle Nicole Siu, Michelle Wendy Te, Sheldon Walter Wong, A Reliability Study on the Basic Evacuation and Assessment Tool for Evacuation Centers in the Philippines
6. Mark Angelo M. Alcantara, Barbara Jeanne D. Caballeros, Aileen Paula A. Chua, Alfonso Miguel R. Regala, Dennis Raymond L. Sacdalan, Kevin Eric R. Santos, An Ecologic Study on the Presumed Impacts of Climate Change and Seasonal Patterns on Acute Respiratory Infection and Health Services Utilization in Nueva Ecija, from 1999 to 2008 (3rd Place)
7. Marina G. Yao, Chi-Feng Cheng, Drexel H. Camacho, Activated Carbon from Pili (Canarium ovatum Engl.) Nut Shell: Surface Amination, Characterization and Evaluation as Adsorbent for Postcombustion CO2 Capture
8. Matthew A. Cua, Emilyn Espiritu Ph.D, Nathaniel Libatique Ph.D , Charlotte Kendra Gotangco Ph.D, Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Climate Change Resiliency in the Philippines: A Technology Suitability and Feasibility Study (1st Place)
Poster 1. Modeling local climate extremes in selected regions in the Philippines (2nd Place)
Faye T. Cruz1*, Julie Mae B. Dado2, Gemma T. Narisma1,2
1Regional Climate Systems, Manila Observatory, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines
2Atmospheric Science Program, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines
Email contacts: fcruz(at)observatory.ph; narisma(at)observatory.ph; jbdado(at)gmail.com
Telephone: +6324265921; Fax: +6324260847
A regional climate model is used to simulate the climate of selected areas in the Philippines to determine its capability in representing climate extremes. The baseline climate (from 1961 to 1990) is modeled over areas including Albay and Leyte island, using the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Regional Climate Model (RegCM3) at a 20 km horizontal resolution with an additional simulation over Albay at 12 km resolution. Model output is validated with observations from both station and gridded reanalyses. Results show the ability of the model to reproduce the observed seasonal variability in mean temperature and rainfall, but the magnitudes of the variables are slightly lower than observed. The model also tends to overestimate temperature extremes. Both model and observed data show a decreasing trend in the number of hot days and cool nights at the selected sites. However, there are fewer occurrences of extremely wet days in the model compared with observations, particularly in Legazpi and Tacloban.
Poster 2. Aerosol Characterization using SEM-EDX for Climate Change Modeling
Narido, Shaira Jehsarine C.a, Barez Bryan Mondy M. a, Vallar, Edgar A. a, 1,
Morris, Vernonb, *, A., Peralta, Teresita, V.c, *, Galvez, Maria Cecilia D. a, *
aLIDAR Laboratory, Physics Department, De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, Manila, Philippines
1edgar.vallar(at)dlsu.edu.ph; 524-46-11 loc. 424
bDepartment of Chemistry and Graduate Program in Atmospheric Sciences, Howard University,
2400 Sixth Street, NW, Washington, DC, United States of America
cEnvironment Monitoring Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources,
DENR Compound, Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Aerosol research is an indispensible component of climate change study. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has actually attributed the largest uncertainty in climate simulations to aerosol behavior in the atmosphere. Thus, it is important to understand the behavior of aerosols through methods such as modeling and characterization. This work involves the characterization of aerosols using a JEOL 5310 Scanning Electron Microscope with Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis (SEM-EDX). Particulate matter was sampled for 12 hours using a size-segregating six-stage sampler at De La Salle University – Manila (14O33.867’N, 120O59.577’E). A total of 144 particles were arbitrarily chosen from each filter. The shape and elemental composition of each particle were analyzed. Data showed the particles as having spherical to conglomerate structures. Particles were mainly composed of Carbon, Magnesium, Calcium, Zirconium, Chromium, Iron, and Copper.
Keywords: Aerosol, Climate Change, Scanning Electron Microscope, Chemical composition, Particle Shape
Poster 3. A Case-Control Study of Factors Associated with Mortality during Tropical Storm Ketsana
Nicole BAUTISTA1, Monica CASTRO1, Denise CHUA1, Kaira Monique OSMEÑA2, Manuel Karlo PARUÑGO1, Ulysses Joseph YAP1, John WONG1, Helen SIGUA, Issa REYES-LAO
1Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health
2Cebu Institute of Medicine
Objective: To determine the factors associated with mortality during Typhoon Ondoy.
Participants: 69 relatives of those who died during the Typhoon Ondoy were treated as cases. 69 participants who also lived in the areas of Marikina City and Quezon City were matched with control informants to verify the validity of the answers of the case proxies. Cases were matched with controls on the similarity of the location of their residence during the time of Typhoon Ondoy.
Main outcome measures: Odds ratio to estimate the likelihood of the occurrence of death among those exposed to a particular risk factor during the time of Typhoon Ondoy.
Results: With a Confidence Interval of 95%, analyses shows that living with a person with disability (OR 14.479) and having no previous experience with emergency (4.421) are the factors that contributed to the mortality during Typhoon Ondoy in Quezon City and Marikina City. One’s overall health (OR 0.164), civil status (OR 0.009), and educational attainment (OR 0.120) also proved to be significant protective factors contributing to survival during a disaster such as Typhoon Ondoy. The model had a Nagelkerke R Square of 0.692 that translates to a model is 69.2% effective. The variable, “No Previous Experience with Emergency”, turned out to be “fair” based on the Kappa statistic with the standards of Landis and Koch. Therefore, this can be considered as a significant variable.
Conclusions: The factors that contributed to the mortality of the victims in Quezon City and Marikina City during Typhoon Ondoy are living with physical disabilities and previous experiences with emergency, while one’s overall health, civil status, and educational attainment are protective factors.
Recommendations: Local disaster plans are recommended to shift and broaden perspective to include a more specific course of action for the vulnerable population. Priority must also be given to people with disabilities as well as the people who live with them. To validate the information given by case proxies in this type of study, the Kappa Statistic can be used.
Keywords: Ketsana, Ondoy, typhoon, Philippines, flood, Disaster Management
Poster 4. Climate change disease mitigation through characterization of airborne bacteria
Oscar Torres1*, Edgar Vallar2, Esperanza Cabrera3, Clarisse Yeung1, Jaran Jainhuknan4, and Amornmart Jarantrungtawee4
1Department of Chemistry, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines, 1004
2Department of Physics, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines, 1004
3Department of Biology, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines, 1004
4Bruker BioSpin AG, Bangkok, Thailand, 10400
*corresponding author: oscar.torres(at)dlsu.edu.ph
Human health is being severely affected by climate change. One possible health effect of climate change is reduced air quality through increases in ground-level ozone, changes in fine particulate matter and changes in allergens. Further, food-, water-, and animal-borne diseases are on the rise due to climate change. This work involves the characterization of microbial aerosols since they are a potential health risk as they can be pathogenic following inhalation or membrane absorption. Pathogens in microbial aerosols have been linked to respiratory infections, tuberculosis, and measles. These infectious diseases are pervasive in the developing countries like the Philippines. Since microbial aerosols are airborne in nature, they could be transferred with ease and are a threat to public health. The study of microbial aerosols gains more importance in the light of bioterrorist attacks using airborne bacteria.
In the Philippines, previous reports showed the alarming airborne bacterial count in air-conditioned buses and ship cabins. Though informative, bacterial count is neither sufficient to assess public health safety nor enough to indicate climate change. In this communication, we identified the composition of microbial aerosols at given atmospheric conditions. We employed Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) to characterize microbial aerosols at the DLSU cafeteria. Mass spectral analyses identified the presence of bacterial genus Streptococcus, Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Clostridium, Micrococcus, and Dermabacter. To the best of our knowledge, characterization of airborne bacteria by MALDI-TOF is a pioneering work in the Philippines.
Poster 5. A Reliability Study on the Basic Evacuation and Assessment Tool for Evacuation Centers in the Philippines
Gabriel Ignacio Alejo
Katrina Isabelle Dela Cruz
Ma. Presentacion Estrada
Julienne Marie Ramos
Janelle Nicole Siu*
Michelle Wendy Te
Sheldon Walter Wong
Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences 2013
Ateneo de Manila University Loyola Heights Campus
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1108, Philippines
(632) 426-6002 loc. 5618 (Health Sciences Office)
09178411910 (corresponding author)
crescent.jan(at)gmail.com (corresponding author)
The study aims to create the Basic Evacuation Assessment Tool. The tool should allow administrators of evacuation centers in the Philippines to assess the level of their centers’ performance during natural disasters. The study will be consulting international (The Sphere Project) and local (Pocket Emergency Tool) standards to create a scaled questionnaire which will be streamlined and made more relevant by Focused Group Discussions/Key Informant Interviews with evacuation center administrators and LGU personnel. Tests for the reliability of the tool will be run via Chronbach’s Alpha Test. The selected areas for the study are various LGUs in the Philippines that have a familiarity with disaster management. Those in charge of managing evacuation centers will take part in Focused Group Discussions/Key Informant Interview. A Focused Group Discussion/Key Informant Interview with three to five questions sourced from variables researched and found in the guidelines for evacuation centers will be the basis for drafting the tool. A reliability test using Cronbach’s Alpha will be applied after the construction and test of the drafted tool. Once found reliable and final, it will be presented to the study partners and local authorities.
Keywords: disaster management, evacuation center assessment tool
Poster 6. An Ecologic Study on the Presumed Impacts of Climate Change and Seasonal Patterns on Acute Respiratory Infection and Health Services Utilization in Nueva Ecija, from 1999 to 2008 (3rd Place)
Mark Angelo M. Alcantara, Barbara Jeanne D. Caballeros, Aileen Paula A. Chua*,
Alfonso Miguel R. Regala, Dennis Raymond L. Sacdalan, Kevin Eric R. Santos
Bachelor of Sciences in Health Sciences
Health Sciences Department, Science Education Complex (SEC) A Building, Ateneo de Manila University
Correspondence to: Aileen Paula A. Chua, Tel: 09175601824, Email: aileenchua20(at)gmail.com
Limited understanding of the relationship between weather changes and disease impedes appropriate preventive intervention. To aid in forming appropriate action, this study identified probable relationships that climate change and seasonal patterns have with prevalence of acute respiratory infections (ARI) and health services utilization. Methods. This mixed-ecologic study explored the consequences that temperature, rainfall, humidity and wind had on ARI prevalence and rural health unit (RHU) consultations in Nueva Ecija, Philippines. Monthly data for ARI and consults were obtained through consultation logbooks from all RHUs in the province, while climate data were provided by the Manila Observatory. These were then examined using linear regression, cross correlation, and spatial analyses. Results. Further studies are necessary to establish climate change; however, seasonality of weather variables was established. Results showed that as relative humidity increased, so did both ARI (Pearson’s R=0.605) and consults prevalence (Pearson’s R=0.584, CL=95%). Wind speed variations likewise coincided with changes in ARI prevalence (R2=0.088, P value=0.045). Spatial analysis depicted an unequal distribution of all variables, with ARI and consultations being more prevalent in the eastern half of the province. Conclusions. The occurrence of ARI and consults follow cyclical fluctuations and differences in geographic distribution similar to seasonal weather patterns. They increase during humid conditions, when damp air is most likely to promote bacterial, fungal, and viral growth, and decrease during less humid months. Wind speed, on the other hand, increases ARI cases possibly by spreading pathogens through the air. These findings suggest implications on disease causation and prevention.
Key Words: Climate change, Seasonal Patterns, Acute Respiratory Infection, Health Services Utilization, Nueva Ecija
Poster 7. Activated Carbon from Pili (Canarium ovatum Engl.) Nut Shell: Surface Amination, Characterization and Evaluation as Adsorbent for Postcombustion CO2 Capture
Marina G. Yao,1* Chi-Feng Cheng§, Drexel H. Camacho*
*Chemistry Department, De La Salle University
2401 Taft Avenue, Manila, Philippines
§Department of Chemistry and Center for Nanotechnology,
Chung Yuan Christian University, Chung-Li 320, Taiwan.
The world is in search for technologies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Among the greenhouse gasses, the dramatic increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is very alarming. The most realistic, but costly, short term technology on the capture and sequestration of post-combustion CO2 is achieved by amine scrubbing of industrial flue gases. To mitigate CO2 emissions, adsorption technologies using activated carbons are studied for CO2 capture hence new sources of activated carbon for environmental applications are desired. This study explores the waste nut shell of a Philippine indigenous Pili tree (Canarium ovatum Engl.) as a potential source of activated carbon. The fixed carbon content of charred Pili nut shell was determined to be high (86.81%) making it an ideal carbon precursor for the production of activated carbon. Nitrogen sorption analysis of the Pili nut shell activated chemically by NaOH showed high surface area (SBET = 817 m2/g) and large pore volume (VDR = 0.54 cm3/g) compared to the unactivated Pili nut shell. To enhance the adsorption capacity for CO2 capture application, the surface of the activated carbon was modified through acid-base treatment and impregnation of different amines (triethylenetetramine, pentaethylenehexamine and polyethyleneimine), resulting to amine-terminated moieties on the carbon surface. Low surface areas, narrow pore volumes and dramatic change in morphology (from uniform geometric shape to spongy microstructures) were observed via nitrogen sorption analysis and scanning electron microscopy, respectively. XRD patterns of activated samples showed a turbostatic structure, intermediate between graphite and amorphous states. The amine modified samples gave slight decrease in interlayer spacing (d(002)) resulting to formation of micro crystallites that may promote CO2 adsorption. Indeed, CO2 sorption analysis showed enhanced CO2 capture where the activated carbon modified with pentaethylenehexamine moieites on the surface gave the highest CO2 adsorption. The CO2 capture mechanism in the amine-treated activated carbon from Pili nut shell is proposed to operate via chemisorption process.
Keywords: Pili, Canarium ovatum Engl., Activated Carbon, CO2 Capture, Adsorbent
Poster 8. Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Climate Change Resiliency in the Philippines: A Technology Suitability and Feasibility Study (1st Place)
Matthew A. Cua*1, Emilyn Espiritu Ph.D1, Nathaniel Libatique Ph.D2 , Charlotte Kendra Gotangco Ph.D1
MS Environmental Science, 1Environmental Science Department, 2Department of Electronics Communication & Computer Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Philippines is faced with multiple problems such as food security, resiliency, efficiency of agriculture, multiple extreme weather events, multiple geophysical hazards, and environmental degredation. Climate change has aggravated these problems and issues already faced by the country and designing resiliency would require innovative approaches and uses of technologies already available.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are multirole assets and platforms that, when combined with other technologies such as ICT, image processing and environmental science could enable the development of new sciences, technologies and techniques for climate change resiliency.
In this paper, the author aims to assess the performance and, more importantly, the suitability of the use of UAVs for applications in disaster science and environmental sustainability in the Philippine context, to complement or as an alternative to other available tools such as remote sensing products.
A commercially available UAV system coupled with a point and shoot camera and a HD Camcorder was used to map out and video a 4th class municipality (Javier) in the Island of Leyte, one of the islands of the Philipine archiepelago. Preliminary images of river erosion, landslides, various land uses, lake health and rural development have been taken using the system.
The UAV system employed in this study provided high resolution images that allowed higher resolution classification of various type of canopy cover, land-use and vegetation. These information can be used to aid the local government in reducing risk and vulnerability. The use of aerial images and videos as visual aids has also helped the municipality understand and dissiminate informaiton on climate changes specifically flood risk and river and coastal erosion . The high resolution image may also prove to be essential in baseline forest mapping and carbon sequestration modelling.
Keywords : Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Disaster Science, Resiliency